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1806 G. Britain Farthing Bronzed Proof P-1390 Ex Boulton Family Collection





Coin Details

Origin/Country: Great Britain 1707-1815
Design Description: P-1390
Item Description: 1/4P 1806 G.BRITAIN P-1390 BRONZED EX. BOULTON FAMILY
Full Grade: NGC PF 65 BN
Owner: coinsandmedals

Owner Comments:

Understandably, Matthew Boulton and his successors were very proud of the Soho Mint and the coins that it struck. I assume this pride paired with a need to move otherwise stale inventory lead to the creation of the tight-fitting silver-brass lined shells that occasionally housed the specimen strikes of numerous coins, tokens, and medals. These specimens were no doubt some of the most spectacularly preserved examples of the pieces struck at the Soho Mint. This particular example is missing the silver-lined brass shells that were likely separated from it after leaving the original Boulton collection. A unique piece of Soho history was lost with those shells, and this is partially why I have worked so diligently to preserve the few pieces in my collection that still retain their shells. Peck classifies this as a very scarce late Soho.

Obverse: Peck (1964) classifies this obverse design as portrait one, which is noted by the use of incuse lines to render the hair detail in his whiskers just above the ear. Additionally, the two lowest leaves in the wreath are overlapped by stray hairs. In general, the design is much like that of the Penny and Halfpenny of the same year. King George III is depicted facing right with a wreath of 10 leaves, which is tied behind his neck by a riband of two loops and two ends that point down and run along the back of his neck. The lowest loop of the riband is detached and does not form a perfect loop and appears more like a deformed fish hook. A brooch of 7 perfectly formed jewels on the right shoulder catches the drapery. The lowest fold of the drapery is plain, which encloses an incuse letter “K.”. The legend is contained within a thin raised rim and beaded border and is as follows: GEORGIUS III · D: G · REX. with the date “1806” appearing at the bottom below the bust. This is an extremely flashy example of this very scarce variety. The watery brown fields paired with the slightly frosted main device makes for an attractive specimen.

Reverse: The reverse design depicts Britannia seated facing left wearing a close-fitting drapery sitting on a rock surrounded by waves. Peck (1964) specifically mentions that her hair is un-waved on top. Her right arm is extended, and her hand holds an olive-branch with seven leaves and no berries. Most of the leaves are detached from the twig (i.e., 5 of the 7). Her left arm is down with a trident clasped in her hand, of which the middle prong points to the right side of the middle of the 2nd “N” in Britannia. An oval shield that adorns the crosses of St. George and St. Andrew (heraldically colored) is to her left side. To the right of the shield is a banner with the Soho mint mark which reads “SOHO”. Please note that a line is present under the mintmark. To the left of the shield is the letter K. A 3 masted warship appears in the sea in front of her. The sea is not curved like that of the 1799 halfpennies but is instead straight, leaving a clear exergue. The legend BRITANNIA is contained within a thin outer rim and a beaded border (even spacing).

Edge: Grained

Notes: This coin just happened to come up for sale when I had a little extra cash that was otherwise unaccounted for. I paid a slight premium for the pedigree, but I find it so cool that I own a coin that originally belonged to the family that struck the very coins that I am so captivated by. Overall the coin is nicely preserved and displays a beautiful even brown color that one would want to find on a proof copper coin of its age. The holder on this coin is very scratched, and the picture reflects this. At some point, I may send it in to be re-holdered. For now, I will enjoy it as is.

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